The economy of Croatia is a highly developed social market economy.[35][36] It is one of the largest economies in Southeast Europe by nominal gross domestic product (GDP).[37][38] It is an open economy with accommodative foreign policy, highly dependent on international trade in Europe. Within Croatia, economic development varies among its counties, with strongest growth in Central Croatia and its financial centre, Zagreb. It has a very high level of human development,[39] low levels of wealth inequality,[40] and a high standard of living.[41] Croatia's labor market has been perennially inefficient, with inconsistent business standards as well as ineffective corporate and income tax policy.[42][43]

Economy of Croatia
The city of Zagreb is the capital and financial centre of Croatia.
CurrencyEuro (EUR, €)
1 January – 31 December
Trade organisations
EU, EEA, WTO
Country group
Statistics
PopulationDecrease 3,855,641 (2022 Est.)[3]
GDP
  • Increase $88.08 billion (nominal, 2024)[4]
  • Increase $175.27 billion (PPP, 2024)[4]
GDP rank
GDP growth
  • Increase 6.3% (2022)[5]
  • Increase 2.8% (2023)[5]
  • Increase 3.9% (2024f)[5]
GDP per capita
  • Increase $22,966 (nominal, 2024)[4]
  • Increase $45,702 (PPP, 2024)[4]
GDP per capita rank
GDP by sector
GDP by component
  • Private consumption: 60.6%
  • Public consumption: 20.0%
  • Investments: 19.3%
  • (2013)[6]
Positive decrease 3.7% (2024 Est.)[7]
Population below poverty line
Negative increase 19.3% at risk of poverty (2023)[8]
Positive decrease 28.5 low (2022)[9]
Decrease 47 out of 100 points (2023)[13] (63rd)
Labour force
  • Increase 1,707,050 (2022)[14]
  • Increase 64.9% (Employment Rate, 2022)[14]
Unemployment
Average gross salary
€1,834 monthly (March 2024)[19]
€1,326 monthly (March 2024)[19]
Main industries
chemicals and plastics, machine tools, fabricated metal, electronics, pig iron and rolled steel products, aluminium, paper, wood products, construction materials, textiles, shipbuilding, petroleum and petroleum refining, food and beverages, tourism
External
ExportsDecrease $24.70 billion (2023)[20]
Export goods
transport equipment, machinery, textiles, chemicals, foodstuffs, fuels
Main export partners
ImportsDecrease $42.75 billion (2023)[20]
Import goods
machinery, transport and electrical equipment; chemicals, fuels and lubricants; foodstuffs
Main import partners
FDI stock
  • Increase $43.71 billion (on-shore) (2017)[22]
  • Increase $8.473 billion (off-shore) (2017)[22]
Increase $1.0 billion (2021)[23]
Negative increase €49.55 billion (2022)[23]
Public finances
  • Positive decrease 68.8% of GDP (2022)[23]
  • Negative increase €31 billion (2022)[24]
  • HRK -12.438 billion deficit (2021)[25]
  • -2.9% of GDP (2021)[25]
Revenues46.4% of GDP (2021)[25]
Expenses49.2% of GDP (2021)[25]
Economic aid



  • Scope:[33]
  • BBB+
  • Outlook: Positive
Increase €27.8 billion (December 2022)[34]
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.

Croatia's economic history is closely linked to its historic nation-building efforts. Its pre-industrial economy leveraged the country's geography and natural resources to guide agricultural growth. The 1800s saw to a shipbuilding boom, railroading, and industrial production. During the 1900s, Croatia entered into a planned economy (with socialism) in 1941 and a command economy (with communism) during World War II. It experienced rapid urbanization in the 1950s and decentralized in 1965, diversifying its economy before the collapse of Yugoslavia during the 1990s. The Croatian War of Independence (1991-95) curbed 21–25% of wartime GDP, leaving behind a developing transition economy. As a modern state Croatia has since turned to social capitalism, aided by ongoing European integration and globalization.[44]

The modern Croatian economy is considered high-income and dominated by its tertiary service sector, which accounts for 70% of GDP. The high levels of tourism in Croatia contributes to nearly 20% of GDP, with a total of 20.6 million tourists visiting in 2023.[45][46] Croatia is an emerging energy power in the region, with strategic investments in liquefied natural gas (LNG), geothermal power, and electric automobiles.[47][48] It supports regional economic activity via transportation networks across the Adriatic Sea and throughout Pan-European corridors. As a member of the European Union, Eurozone, and Schengen Area, it uses the euro (€) as official currency.[49][50] Croatia has free-trade agreements with many world nations and is a part of the World Trade Organization (2000) and the EEA (2013).

History

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Pre-20th century

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Zagreb Stock Exchange Palace in 1927
 
Oil refinery in Rijeka in the 1930s

When Croatia was still part of the Dual Monarchy, its economy was largely agricultural. However, modern industrial companies were also located in the vicinity of the larger cities. The Kingdom of Croatia had a high ratio of population working in agriculture. Many industrial branches developed in that time, like forestry and wood industry (stave fabrication, the production of potash, lumber mills, shipbuilding). The most profitable one was stave fabrication, the boom of which started in the 1820s with the clearing of the oak forests around Karlovac and Sisak and again in the 1850s with the marshy oak masses along the Sava and Drava rivers. Shipbuilding in Croatia played a huge role in the 1850s Austrian Empire, especially the long-range sailing boats. Sisak and Vukovar were the centres of river-shipbuilding.[51] Slavonia was also mostly an agricultural land and it was known for its silk production. Agriculture and the breeding of cattle were the most profitable occupations of the inhabitants. It produced corn of all kinds, hemp, flax, tobacco, and great quantities of liquorice.[52][53]

The first steps towards industrialization began in the 1830s and in the following decades the construction of big industrial enterprises took place.[54] During the 2nd half of the 19th and early 20th century there was an upsurge of industry in Croatia, strengthened by the construction of railways and the electric-power production. The industrial production was still lower than agricultural production.[55] Regional differences were high. Industrialization was faster in inner Croatia than in other regions, while Dalmatia remained one of the poorest provinces of Austria-Hungary.[56] The slow rate of modernization and rural overpopulation caused extensive emigration, particularly from Dalmatia. According to estimates, roughly 400,000 Croats emigrated from Austria-Hungary between 1880 and 1914. In 1910 8.5% of the population of Croatia-Slavonia lived in urban settlements.[57]

In 1918 Croatia became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which was in the interwar period one of the least developed countries in Europe. Most of its industry was based in Slovenia and Croatia, but further industrial development was modest and centered on textile mills, sawmills, brick yards and food-processing plants. The economy was still traditionally based on agriculture and raising of livestock, with peasants accounting for more than half of Croatia's population.[57][58]

In 1941 the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), a World War II puppet state of Germany and Italy, was established in parts of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. The economic system of NDH was based on the concept of "Croatian socialism".[59] The main characteristic of the new system was the concept of a planned economy with high levels of state involvement in economic life. The fulfillment of basic economic interests was primarily ensured with measures of repression.[60] All large companies were placed under state control and the property of the regime's national enemies was nationalized. Its currency was the NDH kuna. The Croatian State Bank was the central bank, responsible for issuing currency. As the war progressed the government kept printing more money and its amount in circulation was rapidly increasing, resulting in high inflation rates.[61]

After World War II, the new Communist Party of Yugoslavia converted to a command economy on the Soviet model of rapid industrial development. In accordance with the communist plan, mainly companies in the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry and the consumer goods industry were founded in Croatia. Metal and heavy industry was mainly promoted in Bosnia and Serbia. By 1948 almost all domestic and foreign-owned capital had been nationalized. The industrialization plan relied on high taxation, fixed prices, war reparations, Soviet credits, and export of food and raw materials. Forced collectivization of agriculture was initiated in 1949. At that time 94% of agricultural land was privately owned, and by 1950 96% was under the control of the social sector. A rapid improvement of food production and the standard of living was expected, but due to bad results the program was abandoned three years later.[57]

Throughout the 1950s Croatia experienced rapid urbanization. Decentralization came in 1965 and spurred growth of several sectors including a prosperous tourist industry. SR Croatia was, after SR Slovenia, the second most developed republic in Yugoslavia with a ~55% higher GDP per capita than the Yugoslav average, generating 31.5% of Yugoslav GDP or $30.1Bn in 1990.[62] Croatia and Slovenia accounted for nearly half of the total Yugoslav GDP, and this was reflected in the overall standard of living. In the mid-1960s, Yugoslavia lifted emigration restrictions and the number of emigrants increased rapidly. In 1971 224,722 workers from Croatia were employed abroad, mostly in West Germany.[63][64] Foreign remittances contributed $2 billion annually to the economy by 1990.[65] Profits gained through Croatia's industry were used to develop poor regions in other parts of former Yugoslavia, leading to Croatia contributing much more to the federal Yugoslav economy than it gained in return. This, coupled with austerity programs and hyperinflation in the 1980s, led to discontent in both Croatia and Slovenia which eventually fuelled political movements calling for independence.[66]

 
A ship being built in Split, 2010
 
GDP of Croatia at constant 2010 prices from 1990 to 2017
 
Real GDP growth in Croatia 2005–2015
 
Unemployment rate from 1996 to 2019 according to Eurostat

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, with the collapse of socialism and the beginning of economic transition, Croatia faced considerable economic problems stemming from:[67]

  • the legacy of longtime communist mismanagement of the economy;
  • damage during the internecine fighting to bridges, factories, power lines, buildings, and houses;
  • the large refugee and displaced population, both Croatian and Bosnian;
  • the disruption of economic ties; and
  • inefficient privatization

At the time Croatia gained independence, its economy (and the whole Yugoslavian economy) was in the middle of recession. Privatization under the new government had barely begun when war broke out in 1991. As a result of the Croatian War of Independence, infrastructure sustained massive damage in the period 1991–92, especially the revenue-rich tourism industry. The privatization of sovereign assets and transformation from a planned economy to a market economy was thus slow and unsteady, largely as a result of public mistrust when many state-owned companies were sold to politically well-connected at below-market prices. With the end of the war, Croatia's economy recovered moderately, but corruption, cronyism, and a general lack of transparency stymied economic reforms and foreign investment.[66][68] The privatization of large government-owned companies was practically halted during the war and in the years immediately following the conclusion of peace. In 2000, roughly 70% of Croatia's major companies were still state-owned, including water, electricity, oil, transportation, telecommunications, and tourism.[69]

The early 1990s experienced high inflation. In 1991 the Croatian dinar was introduced as a transitional currency, but inflation continued to accelerate. The anti-inflationary stabilization steps in 1993 decreased retail price inflation from a monthly rate of 38.7% to 1.4%, and by the end of the year, Croatia experienced deflation. In 1994 Croatia introduced the kuna as its currency.[68] As a result of the macro-stabilization programs, the negative growth of GDP during the early 1990s stopped and reversed into a positive trend. Post-war reconstruction activity provided another impetus to growth. Consumer spending and private sector investments, both of which were postponed during the war, contributed to the growth in 1995–1997.[68] Croatia began its independence with a relatively low external debt because the debt of Yugoslavia was not shared among its former republics at the beginning. In March 1995 Croatia agreed with the Paris Club of creditor governments and took 28.5% of Yugoslavia's previously non-allocated debt over 14 years. In July 1996 an agreement was reached with the London Club of commercial creditors, when Croatia took 29.5% of Yugoslavia's debt to commercial banks. In 1997 around 60 percent of Croatia's external debt was inherited from former Yugoslavia.[70]

At the beginning of 1998 value-added tax was introduced. The central government budget was in surplus in that year, most of which was used to repay foreign debt.[71] Government debt to GDP had fallen from 27.30% to 26.20% at the end of 1998. However, the consumer boom was disrupted in mid 1998, as a result of the bank crisis when 14 banks went bankrupt.[68] Unemployment increased and GDP growth slowed down to 1.9%. The recession that began at the end of 1998 continued through most of 1999, and after a period of expansion GDP in 1999 had a negative growth of −0.9%.[72] In 1999 the government tightened its fiscal policy and revised the budget with a 7% cut in spending.[73]

In 1999 the private sector share in GDP reached 60%, which was significantly lower than in other former socialist countries. After several years of successful macroeconomic stabilization policies, low inflation and a stable currency, economists warned that the lack of fiscal changes and the expanding role of the state in the economy caused the decline in the late 1990s and were preventing sustainable economic growth.[70][73]

Year GDP growth Deficit/surplus* Debt to GDP Privatization revenues*
1994 5.9% 1.8% 22.2%
1995 6.8% −0.7% 19.3% 0.9%
1996 5.9% −0.4% 28.5% 1.4%
1997 6.6% −1.2% 27.3% 2.0%
1998 1.9% 0.5% 26.2% 3.6%
1999 −0.9% −2.2% 28.5% 8.2%
2000 3.8% −5.0% 34.3% 10.2%
2001 3.4% −3.2% 35.2% 13.5%
2002 5.2% −2.6% 34.8% 15.8%
*Including capital revenues
*cumulative, in % of GDP

21st century

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The new government led by the president of SDP, Ivica Račan, carried out a number of structural reforms after it won the parliamentary elections on 3 January 2000. The country emerged from the recession in the 4th quarter of 1999 and growth picked up in 2000.[74] Due to overall increase in stability, the economic rating of the country improved and interest rates dropped. Economic growth in the 2000s was stimulated by a credit boom led by newly privatized banks, capital investment, especially in road construction, a rebound in tourism and credit-driven consumer spending. Inflation remained tame and the currency, the kuna, stable.[66][75] In 2000 Croatia generated 5,899 billion kunas in total income from the shipbuilding sector, which employed 13,592 people. Total exports in 2001 amounted to $4,659,286,000, of which 54.7% went to the countries of the EU. Croatia's total imports were $9,043,699,000, 56% of which originated from the EU.[76]

Unemployment reached its peak in late 2002, but has since been steadily declining. In 2003, the nation's economy would officially recover to the amount of GDP it had in 1990.[77] In late 2003 the new government led by HDZ took over the office. Unemployment continued falling, powered by growing industrial production and rising GDP, rather than only seasonal changes from tourism. Unemployment reached an all-time low in 2008 when the annual average rate was 8.6%,[78] GDP per capita peaked at $16,158,[72] while public debt as percentage of GDP decreased to 29%. Most economic indicators remained positive in this period except for the external debt as Croatian firms focused more on empowering the economy by taking loans from foreign resources.[77] Between 2003 and 2007, Croatia's private-sector share of GDP increased from 60% to 70%.[79] The Croatian National Bank took steps to curb further growth of indebtedness of local banks with foreign banks. The dollar debt figure is adversely affected by the EUR-USD ratio—over a third of the increase in debt since 2002 is due to currency value changes.

Economic growth has been hurt by the global financial crisis.[80] Immediately after the crisis it seemed that Croatia did not suffer serious consequences like some other countries. However, in 2009, the crisis gained momentum and the decline in GDP growth, at a slower pace, continued during 2010. In 2011 the GDP stagnated as the growth rate was zero.[81] Since the global crisis hit the country, the unemployment rate has been steadily increasing, resulting in the loss of more than 100,000 jobs.[82] While unemployment was 9.6% in late 2007,[83] in January 2014 it peaked at 22.4%.[84] In 2010 Gini coefficient was 0,32.[85] In September 2012, Fitch ratings agency unexpectedly improved Croatia's economic outlook from negative to stable, reaffirming Croatia's current BBB rating.[86] The slow pace of privatization of state-owned businesses and an over-reliance on tourism have also been a drag on the economy.[80]

Croatia joined the European Union on 1 July 2013 as the 28th member state. The Croatian economy is heavily interdependent on other principal economies of Europe, and any negative trends in these larger EU economies also have a negative impact on Croatia. Italy, Germany and Slovenia are Croatia's most important trade partners.[81] In spite of the rather slow post-recession recovery, in terms of income per capita it is still ahead of some European Union member states such as Bulgaria, and Romania.[87] In terms of average monthly wage, Croatia is ahead of 9 EU members (Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovakia, Latvia, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, and Bulgaria).[citation needed]

The annual average unemployment rate in 2014 was 17.3% and Croatia has the third-highest unemployment rate in the European Union, after Greece (26.5%), and Spain (24.%).[78] Of particular concern is the heavily backlogged judiciary system, combined with inefficient public administration, especially regarding the issues of land ownership and corruption in the public sector. Unemployment is regionally uneven: it is very high in eastern and southern parts of the country, nearing 20% in some areas, while relatively low in the north-west and in larger cities, where it is between 3 and 7%. In 2015 external debt rose by €2.7 billion since the end of 2014 and is now around €49.3 billion.

2016–2019

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During 2015 the Croatian economy started with slow but upward economic growth, which continued during 2016 and conclusive at the end of the year seasonally adjusted was recorded at 3.5%.[88] The better than expected figures during 2016 enabled the Croatian Government and with more tax receipts enabled the repayment of debt as well as narrow the current account deficit during Q3 and Q4 of 2016[89][90] This growth in economic output, coupled with the reduction of government debt has made a positive impact on the financial markets with many ratings agencies revising their outlook from negative to stable, which was the first upgrade of Croatia's credit rating since 2007.[91] Due to consecutive months of economic growth and the demand for labour, plus the outflows of residents to other European countries, Croatia had recorded the biggest fall in the number of unemployed during the month of November 2016 from 16.1% to 12.7%.

2020

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COVID-19 Pandemic has caused more than 400,000 workers to file for economic aid of 4000.00 HRK./month. In the first quarter of 2020, Croatian GDP rose by 0.2% but then in Q2 Government of Croatia announced the biggest quarterly GDP plunge of -15.1% since GDP has been measured. Economic activity also plunged in Q3 2020 when GDP slid by an additional -10.0%.

In autumn 2020 European Commission estimated total GDP loss in 2020 to be -9.6%. Growth was set to pick up in the last month of Q1 2021 and the second quarter of 2021 respectively +1.4% and +3.0%, meaning that Croatia was set to reach 2019 levels by 2022.[92]

2021

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In July 2021 projection was improved to 5.4% due to the strong outturn in the first quarter and the positive high-frequency indicators concerning consumption, construction, industry and tourism prospects.[93] In November 2021 Croatia outperformed these projections and the real GDP growth was calculated to be 8.1% for the year 2021, improving its projection of 5.4% GDP growth made in July.[94] The recovery was supported by strong private consumption, the better-than-expected performance of tourism and the ongoing resilience of the export sector. Preliminary data point to tourism-related expenditure already exceeding 2019 levels, which has been supportive of both employment and consumption. Exports of goods have also continued to perform strongly (up 43%yoy in 2Q21) pointing to resilient competitiveness.[95] Croatian merchandise exports in the first nine months of 2021 amounted to €13.3 billion, an annual increase of 24.6%. At the same time, imports rose 20.3% to €20.4 billion. The coverage of imports by exports for the first nine months is 65.4%.[96] This made 2021 Croatian export's record year as the trade off-set from 2019 was exceeded by €2 billion.[97]

Exports recovered in all major markets, more precisely with all EU countries and CEFTA countries. Specifically, on the EU market, only a lower export result is recorded in relations with Sweden, Belgium and Luxembourg. Italy is again the main market for Croatian products, followed by Germany and Slovenia. Apart from the high contribution of crude oil that Ina sends to Hungary to the Mol refinery for processing, the export of artificial fertilizers from Petrokemija also has a significant contribution to growth.

For 2022, the Commission revised downwards its projection for Croatia's economic growth to 5.6% from 5.9% previously predicted in July 2021. Commission again confirmed that the volume of Croatia's GDP should reach its 2019 level during 2022, while in 2023 the GDP will grow by 3.4%. The Commission warned that the key downside risks stem from Croatia's relatively low vaccination rates, which could lead to stricter containment measures, and continued delays of the earthquake-related reconstruction. Croatia's entry into the Schengen area and euro adoption towards the end of the forecast period could benefit investment and trade.

On Friday, 12 November 2021 Fitch raised Croatia's credit rating by one level, from ‘BBB−‘ to ‘BBB’, Croatia's highest credit rating in history,[98] with a positive outlook, noting progress in preparations for Eurozone membership and a strong recovery of the Croatian economy from the pandemic crisis.[99] This is also secured by the failure of the eurosceptic party Hrvatski Suverenisti in a bid on the referendum to block Euro adoption in Croatia.[100] In December 2021 Croatia's industrial production increased for the thirteenth consecutive month,[101] observing the growth of production increasing in all of the five aggregates.[102] meaning that industrial production in 2021 increased by 6.7 percent.[103]

In 2021 Croatia joined the list of countries with its own automobile industry,[104] with Rimac Automobili's Nevera started being produced. The company also took over Bugatti Automobiles in November same year and started building its new HQ in Zagreb, titled as the "Rimac Campus", that will serve as the company’s international research and development (R&D) and production base for all future Rimac products, as well as home of R&D for future Bugatti models. The company also plans to build battery systems for different manufacturers from the automotive industry[105][106] This campus will also become the home of R&D for future Bugatti models due to the new joint venture, though these vehicles will be built at Bugatti’s Molsheim plant in France.

2022

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In late March 2022 Croatian Bureau of Statistics announced that Croatia's industrial output rose by 4% in February, thus growing for 15 months in a row.[107][108] Croatia continued to have strong growth during 2022 fuelled by tourism revenue[109] and increased exports.[110][111] According to a preliminary estimate, Croatia's GDP in Q2 grew by 7.7% from the same period of 2021.[112] The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected in early September 2022 that Croatia's economy will expand by 5.9% in 2022, whilst EBRD expects Croatian GDP growth to reach 6.5% by the end of 2022.[113] Pfizer announced launching a new production plant in Savski Marof[114] whilst Croatian IT industry grew 3.3%[115][116] confirming the trend that started with Coronavirus pandemic where the Croatia's digital economy increased by 16 percent on average annually from 2019 to 2021. It is estimated that by 2030 its value could reach 15 percent of GDP, with the ICT sector being the main driver of that growth.[117]

In 2022, Croatian economy is expected to grow between 5.9 and 7.8% in real terms and it is expected to reach between $72 and $73.6 billion according to preliminary estimates by Croatian Government surpassing early estimates of 491 billion kuna or $68.5 billion. Croatian Purchasing Power Parity in 2022 for the first time should exceed $40 000, however considering Croatian economy experienced 6 years of deep recession, catching up will take several more years of high growth. Economic outlook for 2023 for Croatian economy are mixed, depends largely on how the big Eurozone economies perform, Croatia's largest trading partners; Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and France are expected to slow down, but avoid recession according to latest economic projections and estimates, so Croatian economy as a result could see better than expected results in 2023, early projections of between 1 and 2.6% economic growth in 2023 with inflation at 7% is a significant slow down for the country, however country is experiencing major internal and inward investment cycle unparalleled in recent history. EU recovery funds [118] in tune of €8.7 billion coupled with large EU investments in recently earthquake affected areas of Croatia, as well as major investments by local business in to renewable energy sector, also EU supported and funded, as well as major investments in transport infrastructure and rapidly expanding Croatia's ICT sector, Croatian economy could see continuation of rapid growth in 2023.

On 12 July 2022, the Eurogroup approved Croatia becoming the 20th member of the Eurozone, with the formal introduction of the Euro currency to take place on 1 January 2023.[119][120] Croatia joined the Schengen Area in 2023.[50] By 2023, the minimum wage is ostensibly expected to rise to NET 700 EUR,[121][122][123] increasing consumer spending.[49]

Sectors

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In 2022, the sector with the highest number of companies registered in Croatia is Services with 110,085 companies followed by Retail Trade and Construction with 22,906 and 22,121 companies respectively.[124]

Industry

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Tourism

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Tourism is a notable source of income during the summer and a major industry in Croatia. It dominates the Croatian service sector and accounts for up to 20% of Croatian GDP. Annual tourist industry income for 2011 was estimated at €6.61 billion. Its positive effects are felt throughout the economy of Croatia in terms of increased business volume observed in retail business, processing industry orders and summer seasonal employment. The industry is considered an export business, because it significantly reduces the country's external trade imbalance.[125] Since the conclusion of the Croatian War of Independence, the tourist industry has grown rapidly, recording a fourfold rise in tourist numbers, with more than 10 million tourists each year. The most numerous are tourists from Germany, Slovenia, Austria and the Czech Republic as well as Croatia itself. Length of a tourist stay in Croatia averages 4.9 days.[126]

The bulk of the tourist industry is concentrated along the Adriatic Sea coast. Opatija was the first holiday resort since the middle of the 19th century. By the 1890s, it became one of the most significant European health resorts.[127] Later a large number of resorts sprang up along the coast and numerous islands, offering services ranging from mass tourism to catering and various niche markets, the most significant being nautical tourism, as there are numerous marinas with more than 16 thousand berths, cultural tourism relying on appeal of medieval coastal cities and numerous cultural events taking place during the summer. Inland areas offer mountain resorts, agrotourism and spas. Zagreb is also a significant tourist destination, rivalling major coastal cities and resorts.[128]

Croatia has unpolluted marine areas reflected through numerous nature reserves and 99 Blue Flag beaches and 28 Blue Flag marinas.[129] Croatia is ranked as the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world.[130] About 15% of these visitors (over one million per year) are involved with naturism, an industry for which Croatia is world-famous. It was also the first European country to develop commercial naturist resorts.[131]

Agriculture

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Croatian agricultural sector subsists from exports of blue water fish, which in recent years experienced a tremendous surge in demand, mainly from Japan and South Korea. Croatia is a notable producer of organic foods and much of it is exported to the European Union. Croatian wines, olive oil and lavender are particularly sought after. Value of Croatia's agriculture sector is around 3.1 billion according to preliminary data released by the national statistics office.[132]

Croatia has around 1.72 million hectares of agricultural land, however totally utilized land for agricultural in 2020 was around 1.506 million hectares, of these permanent pasture land constituted 536 000 hectares or some 35.5% of total land available to agriculture. Croatia imports significant quantity of fruits and olive oil, despite having large domestic production of the same. In terms of livestock Croatian agriculture had some 15.2 million poultry, 453 000 Cattle, 802 000 Sheep, 1.157 000 Pork/Pigs,88 000 Goats. Croatia also produced 67 000 tons of blue fish, some 9000 of these are Tuna fish, which are farmed and exported to Japan, South Korea and United States.[133]

Croatia produced in 2022:[134]

In addition to smaller productions of other agricultural products, like apple (93 thousand tons), triticale (62 thousand tons) and olive (34 thousand tons).[135]

Transport

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The country's longest motorway, A1, in 2010

The highlight of Croatia's recent infrastructure developments is its rapidly developed motorway network, largely built in the late 1990s and especially in the 2000s. By January 2022, Croatia had completed more than 1,300 kilometres (810 miles) of motorways, connecting Zagreb to most other regions and following various European routes and four Pan-European corridors.[136][137] The busiest motorways are the A1, connecting Zagreb to Split and the A3, passing east–west through northwest Croatia and Slavonia.[138] A widespread network of state roads in Croatia acts as motorway feeder roads while connecting all major settlements in the country. The high quality and safety levels of the Croatian motorway network were tested and confirmed by several EuroTAP and EuroTest programs.[139][140]

Croatia has an extensive rail network spanning 2,722 kilometres (1,691 miles), including 985 kilometres (612 miles) of electrified railways and 254 kilometres (158 miles) of double track railways. The most significant railways in Croatia are found within the Pan-European transport corridor Vb and corridor X connecting Rijeka to Budapest and Ljubljana to Belgrade, both via Zagreb.[136] All rail services are operated by Croatian Railways.[141]

There are international airports in Zagreb, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, Rijeka, Osijek and Pula.[142] As of January 2011, Croatia complies with International Civil Aviation Organization aviation safety standards and the Federal Aviation Administration upgraded it to Category 1 rating.[143]

The busiest cargo seaport in Croatia is the Port of Rijeka and the busiest passenger ports are Split and Zadar.[144][145] In addition to those, a large number of minor ports serve an extensive system of ferries connecting numerous islands and coastal cities in addition to ferry lines to several cities in Italy.[146] The largest river port is Vukovar, located on the Danube, representing the nation's outlet to the Pan-European corridor VII.[136][147]

Energy

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An oil refinery near Rijeka, 2012
 
A hydroelectric power plant in Međimurje, 2014

There are 631 kilometres (392 miles) of crude oil pipelines in Croatia, connecting the JANAF oil terminal with refineries in Rijeka and Sisak, as well as several transhipment terminals. The system has a capacity of 20 million tonnes per year.[148] The natural gas transportation system comprises 2,544 kilometres (1,581 miles) of trunk and regional natural gas pipelines, and more than 300 associated structures, connecting production rigs, the Okoli natural gas storage facility, 27 end-users and 37 distribution systems.[149]

Croatian production of energy sources covers 29% of nationwide natural gas demand and 26% of oil demand. In 2023, net total electrical power production in Croatia reached 16,378 GWh and Croatia imported 26% of its electric power energy needs. The bulk of Croatian imports are supplied by the Krško Nuclear Power Plant in Slovenia, 50% owned by Hrvatska elektroprivreda, providing 12% of Croatia's electricity.[150]

Electricity:[151]

  • Production: 13,696 GWh (2022)
  • Consumption: 18,391 GWh (2022)
  • Exports: 7,225 GWh (2022)
  • Imports: 11,920 GWh (2022)

Electricity – production by source:[150]

  • Hydro: 34% (2023)
  • Thermal: 21% (2023)
  • Nuclear: 12% (2023)
  • Renewable: 7% (2023)
  • Imports: 26% (2023)

Crude Oil:[152]

  • Production: 594 thousand tons (2022)
  • Consumption: 2.306 million tons (2022)
  • Exports: 202 thousand tons (2022)
  • Imports: 1,979 million tons (2022)
  • Proved Reserves: 3,508,900 cubic metres (22,070,000 bbl) (2022)[153]

Natural Gas:[151]

  • Production: 745 million m³ (2022)
  • Consumption: 2,529 billion m³ (2022)
  • Exports: 1,063 million m³ (2022)
  • Imports: 3,022 billion m³ (2022)
  • Proved Reserves: 15.592,4 million m³ (2022)[153]

Banking

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Croatian National Bank Building in Zagreb, 2014

Central bank

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The country's monetary policy is formulated and implemented by its national bank.

Retail banks

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Central budget

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General government gross debt of Croatia from 2000 to 2016

The central budget is set by the Government of Croatia to cover their upcoming fiscal year, which runs from 1 January to 31 December. For 2024, they reported €28.52 billion in revenue with €32.61 billion in expenditure, running a €4.09 billion budget deficit.[154]

The breakdown of Croatia's budget for 2023, by ministry (department), is shown below.[154]

Stock exchanges

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Economic indicators

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The following table shows the main economic indicators for the period 2000–2023 according to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics.[155][156] The Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) conversion factors are based on OECD estimates.[157] Croatian government debt values are published by the Croatian National Bank.[158] Indicators for 2024-2027 are provided by the IMF, specifically the World Economic Outlook (April 2024).[159]

Year Population (Mil.) GDP

(in Bil. EUR nominal)

GDP

(Bil. USD nominal)

GDP per capita (nominal. EUR) GDP per capita (nominal, USD) GDP

(Bil., USD PPP)

GDP per capita (PPP, USD) Exchange Rate (USD/EUR) PPP (National currency units/USD) Inflation (%) GDP growth (real %) Government debt (% GDP)
2000 4.426 24.0 21.8 5,351 4,929 47.7 10,786 0.9236 0.503 4.6  2.9 35.4
2001 4.300 25.8 23.3 6,044 5,414 50.1 11,655 0.8956 0.514 3.8  3.0 36.6
2002 4.302 28.3 27.1 6,688 6,293 56.0 12,771 0.9456 0.505 1.7  5.7 36.5
2003 4.303 31.2 35.0 7,206 8,130 58.9 13,682 1.1312 0.529 1.8  5.5 37.9
2004 4.305 33.6 42.0 7,847 9,752 63.2 14,675 1.2439 0.532 2.1  4.1 40.0
2005 4.310 36.2 45.8 8,539 10,620 66.7 15,439 1.2441 0.543 3.3  4.3 40.9
2006 4.311 39.4 50.9 9,405 11,795 75.9 17,596 1.2556 0.520 3.2  4.9 38.5
2007 4.310 43.2 60.6 10,272 14,043 84.2 19,491 1.3705 0.513 2.9  4.9 37.2
2008 4.310 46.5 71.0 11,216 16,419 90.4 20,924 1.4708 0.514 6.1  1.9 39.1
2009 4.305 44.4 63.4 10,549 14,663 87.1 20,147 1.3948 0.510 2.4  -7.3 48.4
2010 4.295 44.3 60.7 10,615 14,062 86.1 19,965 1.3257 0.514 1.1  -1.3 57.3
2011 4.281 45.0 63.4 10,608 14,758 90.3 21,013 1.3920 0.498 2.3  -0.1 63.7
2012 4.268 44.5 57.4 10,430 13,400 91.7 21,398 1.2848 0.486 3.4  -2.3 69.4
2013 4.256 44.7 59.0 10,423 13,869 94.3 22,135 1.3281 0.474 2.2  -0.4 80.3
2014 4.238 44.6 58.4 10,386 13,783 94.8 22,366 1.3285 0.470 -0.2  -0.4 83.9
2015 4.204 45.7 50.7 10,755 11,944 98.1 23,339 1.1095 0.466 -0.5  2.5 83.3
2016 4.174 47.3 52.4 11,324 12,557 105.4 25,262 1.1069 0.449 -1.1  3.6 79.8
2017 4.125 49.5 55.9 12,101 13,657 112.3 27,201 1.1297 0.441 1.1  3.4 76.7
2018 4.088 51.9 61.3 12,896 15,245 118.3 28,909 1.1810 0.439 1.5  2.8 73.3
2019 4.065 54.8 61.3 13,678 15,333 130.4 30,585 1.1195 0.420 0.8  3.4 71.1
2020 4.048 50.5 57.6 12,408 14,205 123.1 28,911 1.1422 0.410 0.1  -8.6 87.3
2021 3.879 58.2 68.8 15,006 17,747 143.0 34,533 1.1827 0.407 2.6  13.1 78.3
2022 3.857 68.0 71.5 17,637 18,544 155.9 40,573 1.0530 0.418 10.8  6.3 70.4
2023 3.843 76.5 82.8 19,899 21,538 182.9 47,605 1.0824 0.418 8.3  3.1 83.9
2024f 3.835 81.7 88.1 21,296 22,966 175.3 45,702 1.0784 0.466 3.7  3.0 -
2025f 3.829 86.0 92.3 22,462 24,111 183.2 47,860 1.0734 0.469 2.2  2.7
2026f 3.822 90.5 97.1 23,680 25,391 191.8 50,180 1.0722 0.472 2.2  2.7
2027f 3.816 94.9 101.6 24,877 26,633 200.5 52,563 1.0705 0.473 2.2  2.6

Economic output

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Counties of Croatia by GDP, in million Euro
County 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
  Bjelovar-Bilogora 520 569 639 645 688 698 800 804 953 917 834 823 786 790 789 809 855 874 925
  Brod-Posavina 564 628 687 713 779 771 849 918 1,032 952 914 917 895 888 853 879 917 969 1,016
  Dubrovnik-Neretva 573 630 676 754 883 977 1,083 1,292 1,340 1,267 1,248 1,208 1,202 1,234 1,260 1,313 1,403 1,532 1,587
  Istria 1,420 1,614 1,814 1,980 2,182 2,291 2,482 2,729 2,842 2,768 2,773 2,762 2,635 2,631 2,666 2,747 2,947 3,106 3,162
  Karlovac 586 713 785 758 777 835 943 1,048 1,107 998 969 978 948 961 934 961 1,008 1,031 1,035
  Koprivnica-Križevci 723 762 830 845 853 855 988 1,046 1,069 998 935 926 906 919 905 916 961 991 979
  Krapina-Zagorje 569 655 681 706 729 815 858 947 974 868 807 815 803 823 837 867 928 990 1,021
  Lika-Senj 235 250 309 384 522 407 429 417 491 445 416 405 382 388 379 388 402 427 436
  Međimurje 510 562 644 654 691 737 841 892 1,034 977 933 941 929 1,088 959 986 1,045 1,109 1,142
  Osijek-Baranja 1,352 1,459 1,668 1,700 1,872 2,043 2,249 2,600 2,834 2,642 2,507 2,514 2,421 2,438 2,375 2,436 2,544 2,581 2,572
  Požega-Slavonia 325 355 380 420 451 464 478 508 554 504 497 482 458 461 433 440 453 466 499
  Primorje-Gorski Kotar 2,111 2,138 2,261 2,543 2,685 3,066 3,371 3,560 4,060 3,820 3,822 3,905 3,981 3,849 3,849 3,854 3,961 4,177 4,270
  Sisak-Moslavina 925 938 972 989 1,033 1,137 1,335 1,262 1,435 1,447 1,451 1,439 1,434 1,306 1,221 1,268 1,247 1,266 1,309
  Split-Dalmatia 1,924 2,118 2,318 2,529 2,898 3,061 3,427 3,934 4,115 3,804 3,788 3,695 3,578 3,583 3,581 3,712 3,913 4,133 4,278
  Šibenik-Knin 423 450 511 581 659 748 765 902 923 802 859 856 835 851 852 862 903 988 1,027
  Varaždin 894 996 1,139 1,175 1,166 1,229 1,347 1,451 1,637 1,549 1,463 1,456 1,436 1,467 1,462 1,506 1,601 1,718 1,865
  Virovitica-Podravina 357 406 438 458 471 476 555 590 615 546 516 526 504 496 455 460 485 500 536
  Vukovar-Syrmia 624 686 762 816 864 928 1,079 1,109 1,260 1,171 1,090 1,092 1,049 1,048 999 1,031 1,076 1,120 1,171
  Zadar 627 733 829 982 1,055 1,166 1,238 1,443 1,618 1,478 1,405 1,383 1,366 1,386 1,395 1,445 1,527 1,671 1,797
  Zagreb County 1,284 1,272 1,583 1,653 1,823 2,059 2,128 2,419 2,653 2,555 2,398 2,449 2,439 2,450 2,466 2,549 2,651 2,832 3,011
  City of Zagreb 6,912 7,806 8,569 9,458 10,400 11,717 12,954 14,059 15,439 14,561 15,586 15,383 15,055 14,778 14,754 15,206 15,818 16,782 17,544
Source: Croatian Bureau of Statistics[160]
Counties of Croatia by GDP per capita, in Euro
County 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
  Bjelovar-Bilogora 4,007 4,383 4,951 5,042 5,417 5,539 6,395 6,489 7,756 7,522 6,907 6,888 6,657 6,766 6,829 7,107 7,647 7,958 7,986
  Brod-Posavina 3,425 3,812 4,171 4,345 4,766 4,731 5,223 5,660 6,384 5,921 5,731 5,789 5,691 5,700 5,539 5,810 6,195 6,726 6,607
  Dubrovnik-Neretva 4,886 5,373 5,738 6,378 7,442 8,197 9,025 10,698 11,024 10,351 10,174 9,855 9,812 10,083 10,297 10,737 11,500 12,608 13,277
  Istria 7,184 8,160 9,117 9,880 10,813 11,267 12,116 13,221 13,691 13,285 13,297 13,270 12,684 12,665 12,811 13,199 14,165 14,915 15,570
  Karlovac 4,181 5,082 5,635 5,491 5,666 6,139 6,989 7,830 8,341 7,598 7,458 7,615 7,461 7,651 7,541 7,868 8,373 8,701 8,301
  Koprivnica-Križevci 5,955 6,269 6,858 7,025 7,134 7,181 8,335 8,878 9,108 8,545 8,052 8,020 7,890 8,039 7,969 8,149 8,660 9,066 8,711
  Krapina-Zagorje 4,089 4,702 4,919 5,129 5,323 5,972 6,313 7,008 7,250 6,479 6,049 6,142 6,091 6,287 6,439 6,721 7,265 7,830 7,919
  Lika-Senj 4,219 4,493 5,582 6,965 9,466 7,446 7,927 7,783 9,277 8,515 8,091 7,984 7,652 7,874 7,812 8,134 8,571 9,297 8,878
  Međimurje 4,472 4,930 5,644 5,729 6,056 6,459 7,375 7,830 9,086 8,583 8,196 8,273 8,176 9,592 8,480 8,751 9,328 9,989 10,302
  Osijek-Baranja 4,247 4,582 5,239 5,354 5,914 6,480 7,174 8,353 9,162 8,578 8,183 8,249 7,990 8,105 7,965 8,270 8,779 9,098 8,684
  Požega-Slavonia 3,904 4,255 4,572 5,066 5,479 5,658 5,874 6,286 6,897 6,330 6,314 6,194 5,971 6,081 5,774 5,973 6,307 6,681 6,620
  Primorje-Gorski Kotar 7,123 7,210 7,622 8,575 9,051 10,326 11,337 11,959 13,642 12,847 12,873 13,185 13,474 13,061 13,103 13,204 13,686 14,559 14,797
  Sisak-Moslavina 4,884 4,952 5,158 5,285 5,552 6,156 7,292 6,966 8,018 8,184 8,321 8,372 8,465 7,832 7,459 7,899 7,939 8,284 7,868
  Split-Dalmatia 4,422 4,866 5,278 5,723 6,508 6,820 7,593 8,684 9,059 8,361 8,323 8,121 7,866 7,876 7,876 8,184 8,655 9,183 9,636
  Šibenik-Knin 3,855 4,094 4,631 5,254 5,946 6,733 6,863 8,081 8,262 7,202 7,788 7,855 7,764 7,998 8,086 8,267 8,776 9,737 9,713
  Varaždin 4,952 5,516 6,327 6,550 6,525 6,890 7,564 8,165 9,233 8,758 8,298 8,281 8,193 8,412 8,434 8,752 9,389 10,176 10,899
  Virovitica-Podravina 3,887 4,416 4,793 5,029 5,222 5,329 6,253 6,703 7,048 6,326 6,037 6,213 6,012 5,979 5,542 5,704 6,135 6,480 6,525
  Vukovar-Syrmia 3,277 3,604 4,018 4,330 4,617 4,985 5,825 6,012 6,853 6,401 6,016 6,094 5,856 5,961 5,772 6,082 6,498 6,999 6,730
  Zadar 4,050 4,726 5,289 6,193 6,579 7,186 7,534 8,676 9,640 8,752 8,281 8,114 7,985 8,084 8,146 8,478 9,003 9,901 10,803
  Zagreb County 4,327 4,283 5,279 5,459 5,966 6,686 6,859 7,745 8,443 8,089 7,565 7,703 7,660 7,687 7,748 8,050 8,434 9,083 9,710
  City of Zagreb 8,962 10,114 11,091 12,238 13,418 15,082 16,642 18,005 19,709 18,526 19,765 19,453 18,986 18,578 18,479 18,992 19,711 20,879 22,695
Source: Croatian Bureau of Statistics[160]

See also

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References

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